I got inspired to write this post by Ashley, a lovely member of the Your Super group on Facebook, who asked me about detox-friendly soup ideas. You know, it’s winter in our part of the world, and one might not always want a juice or a smoothie to “reset” their system. I totally get that. I like smoothies a lot, but I mostly use fresh fruit, instead of frozen. Never will you see me ordering a glass of iced-water at a restaurant; wearing flipflops on a winter day, just because it’s sunny outside; and not having a pot of soup available within reach.
As some of you already know, I have been “westernizing” and “veganizing” my late grandma’s recipes (which is how the blog started in the first place). Among the many recipes she wrote in her red notebook which still looks brand new, are many yummy soups. To make these recipes healthier and completely whole foods plant-based, I omit any oil, flour, and cream. To make sure they still taste yummy, I benefit from spices, vegetable stock, and a little Himalayan soup. The base is usually the same, so let me get the basics out of the way before I list my 10 detox-friendly soup recipes!
The Basics: Easy as 1, 2, 3
- I steam the veggies. Obviously, some vegetables take longer to steam than the others, and personal preferences might differ. I don’t like my Brussel sprouts too soft, for example, but someone else might like them as mushy as they can get. Take all that into consideration, and steam the root veggies, legumes and beans separately, as they take longer to get softer (unless you use canned/pre-steamed beans and legumes). Do rinse your quinoa beforehand, as rinsing makes it easier to digest and it gets rid of the bitter taste.
- After steaming all of the vegetables, including the onions, tomatoes, and peppers, I let them cool off, and then I might or might not blend them in a blender. This is a personal preference as well. My people like their soup more liquidy (imagine a warm, savory smoothie) unlike the more “Western” idea of soup as a slightly more liquidy meal (does it make sense?). I like both of these styles and chose according to my desire on that day. These days I have been using my Vitamix to blend the veggies once they cool down.
- In a separate pot, I mix some veggie stock/bouillon and water (the amount of both will depend on the amount of veggie-combo you are using). I wait until the water boils, to then add the steamed (and blended) veggies. I keep the pot over low heat. When the veggie stock is blended nicely, I then add spices according to the veggie-combo I have used. ***Below, I include the spices I use in parentheses, but just to give an idea, turmeric goes well with pumpkin soup, for instance, and lentils taste delicious with coriander and cardamom, so I use this middle eastern spice mix; zucchinis definitely get along with greens, such as marjoram, parsley, or this all-purpose seasoning). I always serve the soup with lemon, which is another cultural thing. That’s pretty much it!
As promised: From Granny’s kitchen to Facebook groups
- Zucchini soup: Zucchinis, potatoes, ginger, and onions (I used this seasoning).
- Split Pea soup: Peas, carrots, onions, celery (love it with this veggie-pepper seasoning).
- Tomato soup: Tomatoes, garlic, and pinto beans. You might want to use coconut milk, instead of water. (Believe it or not, I use this pizza seasoning!).
- Potato soup: Sweet potatoes, red chili pepper, onion, and garlic. You might want to use coconut milk instead of water. Alternatively, I add cashews when blending the veggies, to give the soup more creaminess. (I like this North African mix, adding a little spice to the sweet potato).
- Chickpeas soup: Chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and kale (again, I use this North African mix).
- Beet soup: Red beets, sweet potatoes, garlic, quinoa (I only add Himalayan salt and veggie pepper).
- Lentil soup: Red or green lentils, green bell peppers, potatoes and carrots ( Ras El Hanout seasoning).
- Pumpkin soup: Pumpkin or butternut squash, potatoes, and cauliflowers (you might want to use coconut milk instead of water, and turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg go well with this delicious soup).
- Bean soup: Navy means, cauliflower, potatoes, and celery ( Salt and veggie pepper).
- Fennel soup: Fennels, onions, cauliflower, and dill (All purpose seasoning).